Tampere Media Museum

Here are my photos from the Media Museum. I found this small-size, but rich museum fascinating, partly because of the imaginative display; also, the fact that the display did not proceed chronologically, rather by presenting the development of one media after the other – printing and journalism; television; the telephone; photography; radio; computers and the internet, and so forth; and the fact that throughout the exhibition reflected on the dynamic and two-way relationship between technological innovation and society, as well as the continuities of our engagement with new technology – regarding both innovative uses and anxiety and social debates. The many local references – to Linux and Nokia, for instance – were also informative. Regarding continuity, the following was probably my favourite example:


Harry Whittier Frees: ‘What’s delaying my dinner?’, 1905, USA. “The American Harry Whittier Frees photographed cats and dogs in funny situations in the early 20th century and sold them, for example, as printed postcards. Cat photos quite similar to those taken by Frees are very popular on the Internet even today”


Realising that objects so familiar from my childhood – the Commodore 64 – and teenage years – the Sony walkman I used daily for so many years, tamagotchis, floppy disks, video cassettes – are now media history, museum items, was a particularly revealing experience. It reminded me not only of the speed of technological development, but also of how quickly and perhaps irrevocably our everyday objects, laden with rich personal and social meanings, become obsolete and therefore forgotten – or at least hidden, to borrow a metaphor from Sarah Baker and Alison Huber, ‘under the bed’ – ‘in places between remembering and forgetting.’

Baker, S. and Huber A. (forthcoming) ‘Saving “rubbish”: preserving popular music’s material culture in amateur archives and museums’, in S. Cohen, R. Knifton, M. Leonard and L. Roberts (eds.) Sites of Popular Music Heritage: Memories, Histories, Places. Routledge

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